Ruth Brickland, member of Dance City’s Engagement Team shares her thoughts on Inspire Festival 2021, as preparations are underway for this year’s event.

At what point do we stop growing up and start getting old?

As we reflect on this past year of ‘Inspire’, this question, asked by a participant who came to the festival rings in our mind. Aren’t we constantly growing up – learning more, connecting more? And when does age, and getting older, acquire a negative connotation?

Being part of the team that creates ‘Inspire’ is, for me, a constant reminder of the need to rewrite the story of age. ‘Inspire’ is our way to do this, through rewriting the story of dance. It’s the artists, the participants, and the audience contributing to ‘Inspire’ that rewrite this story:A career in dance can be lifelongA love for dance can begin at any ageDance connects, inspires, and impacts all ages

Inspire grapples with difficult questions. How can we ensure a festival that celebrates age ensures that participants are valued for so much more beyond their age? Part of the challenge of such a festival is ensuring that dance: the work created, and the skills learnt, remain the focus. Such considerations are at the forefront of the Inspire festival, and dance projects that happen throughout the year.

We want to keep making work and celebrating work that is relevant to the world we live in, work that interests us and work that inspires others to move more/differently/together.

Inspire may be created by Dance City but it is so much more than the yearly festival. It is also made up of every project, focus group, artist, audience member, performer, group leader, community group and participant that works with us throughout the year. The video below shows some of those projects that have been taking place with community groups, using our ‘Make your Move’ dance programme. 


How to get involved 

Now we are reaching out to each of you – group leaders, participants, artists and community groups to join us for Inspire 22/23. Inspire Festival will take place on 1 October and will showcase some of the incredible dance work being produced in our region. If you are part of, or leader of a community group and think you could be a good fit for the programme, then please do get in touch with Lissie Connor, at

You can book your tickets for the Inspire Festival performance and after-show Northern Soul night by clicking here

We also have a dance programme, ‘Make your Move’ which is made to create and deliver dance workshops with community groups.

Make Your Move 55+ flyer

Click the flyer above which explains everything that is on offer within this programme. It is suitable for all groups – those who have been dancing for years, or those who want to try something new! If you know a community group that would love to perform in the Inspire Festival but aren’t yet dancing, the ‘Make your Move’ programme is the perfect route.

Thank you for joining us on our journey of dance, learning and celebration!